Saturday School Draws 260 Students, Parents to Glasgow This Weekend
This Saturday more than 200 FCPS students and parents are choosing to attend school.
Glasgow Middle School Principal Victor Powell is tapping some of his school’s share of federal pandemic relief funding to host an estimated 260 students and their parents in sessions designed to boost reading, math and social-emotional skills, as well as get students and parents alike inspired to think about college and goal-setting for the future.
The event is funded by some of Glasgow’s share of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief aid, or ESSER III funding – money given to states by the federal government to help address any pandemic-related issues that may be impacting students. Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) has been awarded $188.8 million in ESSER III aid, and all schools receive a portion of the funds.
Students will choose between modules designed to boost math, reading and writing strategies and research skills as well as those focused on wellness issues like nutrition, positive thinking and planning for the future. They’ll also enjoy lunch and hear from a keynote speaker, Lynette Henry, who serves as the manager of college success programs in FCPS’s Office of Counseling and College and Career Readiness.
“In education, we have a finite amount of time,” Powell says, adding that pandemic disruptions were an “opportunity loss” for many. “The school day hasn’t been extended so we are trying to look for new ways to assist the community. Some families navigated this better than others, depending on resources, so as far as trying to make up for that, what it looks like in schools and what supports are needed: It’s a lot.”
Erin Gray, a mother of a current Belvedere Elementary student who will enter Glasgow in the fall, says she knows she is lucky. She and her husband work in the real estate title industry, which she says wasn’t hard-hit during the pandemic and meant they didn’t have to worry about financial obligations as some families did.
Her daughter, Avery, does well in school and has been chosen to be part of the Young Scholars Program, which aims to boost representation of diverse students in advanced academic programs. Even so, Gray says she did notice a difference in her daughter during the pandemic.
“She is still struggling a bit to get back into the groove of socializing, activities, being part of the group,” Gray said. “We hope to get her used to being excited about new stuff again, and this feels like the perfect opportunity: it’s a good segue into middle school and getting excited about things to come.”
Parents can attend sessions that aim to help them understand how they can support their children in bouncing back from any pandemic related learning disruptions.
“Parents have not been a part of being in the physical structure of school buildings for so long, we really wanted to welcome them back, so they can get a close up view of what is going on in classrooms,” Powell said, referencing COVID-19 limits on visitors to schools. “We want to encourage parents to be aware they are an integral part of their child’s education.”
Many of the students who plan to attend are already doing well in school, enrolled in advanced content courses or the Young Scholars program.
“We wanted to invite all students, it’s part of an overall effort to think about how we are exposing kids to higher education, goal setting, life opportunities and to give them a chance to hear from people who are at the top of their career so students can start thinking about their future, what they want out of life,” Powell says.
Glasgow eighth-grader Kimberly Cruz-Cruz, is a Young Scholar who will be at school this Saturday. She says it was hard to find the right balance between school and home during virtual learning last year and she jumped at the chance to attend this weekend’s event.
“It's part of helping our community come back together,” she said. “One more way to reconnect. Any chance I have to go places now, be somewhere in person, it opens my mind to more.”